Hope for Weaving Communities in the Aftermath of Nepal’s Earthquakes

February 05, 2016 Photo Gallery 
Child Labor

GoodWeave works to end child labor and trafficking in the rug industry and to replicate its market-based approach in other sectors. By building both the supply of and demand for child-labor-free rugs, GoodWeave has catalyzed a profound shift in the marketplace. Since GoodWeave's founding, more than 12 million certified carpets have been sold in markets across the world, and the number of children trapped in exploitative carpet-making work has dropped from one million to 200,000.

When the devastating earthquakes decimated entire regions of Nepal on April 25 and May 12, 2015, they threatened the country’s carpet industry – one of its top economic sectors – and put children at greater risk of exploitation. Nine thousand people lost their lives, hundreds of thousands were left homeless, 32,000 classrooms were destroyed and nearly one million children were out of school. Damage to business infrastructure in the affected districts meant that many companies struggled to simply reopen their doors, and thus employment opportunities for workers desperate to rebuild their lives were few and far between. Many weaving families returned to home villages to find their houses completely destroyed, and have not been able to afford to rebuild them. Without good choices and facing debt, families have been increasingly forced to take dangerous risks that could lead to exploitation or worse. 

In the aftermath of the earthquakes, GoodWeave provided critical relief to its community of former child laborers, vulnerable carpet weaving families and the carpet industry – meeting urgent needs for food, water, medical care and shelter. Ongoing work to assist carpet factories build back their infrastructure in a more worker-friendly, seismically-sound way, as well as to support housing and educational support for affected communities in the districts of Sindhupalchowk and Dolakha is underway. All of this work helps to stabilize vulnerable communities, strengthen the rug industry and protect children – in-line with GoodWeave’s mission to end child labor.

The following photos illustrate how GoodWeave is helping weavers and their families along the path to recovery.

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Topics: Child Labor